Perfect Prime Rib Roast Recipe & Cooking Tips (2024)

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This recipe will explain how to cook a the most mouthwatering, tender, and flavorful oven roasted Prime Rib with a delicious fresh herb crust and divine rich wine sauce. Everything you need to know to get perfect results is below.

Don’t be intimidated to make this expensive roast that is perfect for any special occasion dinner! This recipe works for any size roast. This is a standing rib roast recipe, meaning the roast is sold with the bones, but it can be used to make a boneless prime rib as well.

Perfect Prime Rib Roast Recipe & Cooking Tips (1)

Looking for other impressive main dish recipes? You can’t go wrong with perfectly cooked Filet Mignon, Smoked Prime Rib, or Broiled Lobster Tails.

Table of Contents

  • Reasons to Make This Recipe
  • What Is a Prime Rib Roast?
  • Boneless vs Bone-in Prime Rib Roast
  • Prime Rib Calculator: How Much Per Person
  • How Long to Cook Prime Rib
  • Prime Rib Temperature
  • Recipe Tip
  • How to Cook Prime Rib in the Oven
    • Step 1:Prepare the roast
    • Step 2:Roast in oven
    • Step 3:Reduce the wine sauce
  • Side Dish Recommendations
  • FAQs
  • Perfect Prime Rib Roast Recipe

Reasons to Make This Recipe

If you’re looking for the best prime rib recipe, look no further. This recipe has been viewed well over 2 million times and continues to be everyone’s favorite holiday recipe.

  • Best Christmas Dinner:Prime rib roast is an excellent cut of beef to enjoy for a special or holiday dinner. Why? Because you can buy various sizes of the roast that will feed anywhere from 4-20 people. Plus, by the nature of how prime rib cooks, you will end up with servings that range anywhere from rare or medium rare all the way to well done.
  • Worth the Cost:Prime rib is an expensive cut of meat for good reason. The incredibly tender cut is marbled with fat in all the right places to yield the most delicious beef roast you’ll ever enjoy. That being said, it can be rather intimidating to spend that much money on a roast if you’ve never cooked one before. Never fear; I will walk you through everything you need to know to achieve perfect results.
  • Amazing Sauce:During the cooking process, all of that wonderful fat marbling throughout the roast and the fat cap on top will render. I add wine and beef broth to the roasting pan that catches all of those flavorful herb infused drippings. Instead of making an au jus to serve, this amazing wine sauce gets reduced while the roast is resting.
  • Simple and Easy To Make:This recipe has always been my favorite because it is actually incredibly simple. You’ll find that the roast turns out flavorful and moist because of the cooking method and the herb crust. The rich red wine sauce is the perfect accompaniment.
Perfect Prime Rib Roast Recipe & Cooking Tips (2)

What Is a Prime Rib Roast?

A prime rib roast is an expensive primal cut of beef from the ribeye section that can be purchased as boneless or bone-in.

It is an extremely flavorful and tender, typically roasted whole, and known for its rich marbling and succulent taste.

They can usually be found at a local butcher, but during the holiday season, you can also easily find them at places like Costco and your local grocery store.

Boneless vs Bone-in Prime Rib Roast

A standing prime rib roast is sold with the beef ribs. It is referred to as a standing rib roast because the butcher separates the ribs from the roast but ties them together with kitchen twine. The roast stands on the bones, creating an insulating layer of protection.

The bones do not add to the flavor like they would if they were braised in liquid, however they do insulate the meat and are also quite delicious.

In my opinion, the perfect prime rib roast is cooked with the bones, but it is more common to find boneless prime rib sold in grocery stores and at the butcher shop.

Prime Rib Calculator: How Much Per Person

How much prime rib is needed per person is a very common question.

Prime rib roasts often range in size from 4-pounds all the way up to 20-pounds.

  • Bone-in:A bone-in prime rib roast can contain anywhere from 2-7 bones. Since the ribs can be eaten and they add to the weight of the roast, they are factored into how much you will need to buy. Plan on about 1-pound per serving if you are buying a prime rib roast with rib bones.
  • Boneless:If you are buying a boneless roast, you can plan on needing a minimum of a 1/2-pound per serving. I always round up, however, because we have big eaters and love to make leftover prime rib sandwiches with caramelized onions. We also use the meat to make French Dip sandwiches or add it to a massive baked potato.

How Long to Cook Prime Rib

This recipe uses a very high heat to first sear and seal the roast which creates a flavorful crust. Then, the heat is lowered and the roast continues cooking in the oven.

For that reason, this recipe does not take that long to cook, but the total cooking time completely depends on a number of factors:

  • size of the roast
  • starting temperature of the meat
  • consistency of the oven
  • final desired temperature of meat (rare, medium rare, etc.)

Using this recipe, a 5-pound roast will only take about 2 hours to roast, plus rest time.

For larger roasts, estimate an additional 10 minutes per pound.

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Prime Rib Temperature

Youmusthave a good thermometer in order to properly cook a prime rib roast.

Because I do not want to open the oven door while the roast is cooking, or pierce the roast to allow the juices to escape, I do not recommend using an instant-read thermometer.

Instead, I recommend using a meat thermometer that is inserted into the thickest part of the roast and designed to track temperatures over an extended period of time.

  • Plan to remove your prime rib roast from the oven when it is at 10 degrees below your desired final temperature.
  • Thefinalprime rib temperature for rare meat is 120-125°F, medium rare is 130-135°F, and well done is 140-145°F.
  • Keep a close eye on the internal temperature as it approaches your desired temperature. The rate at which the temperature increases will accelerate the closer the roast is to being cooked.
  • When you cook for a crowd, the best rule of thumb is to remove your prime rib roast from the oven when it hits 120°F and allow it to rest for about 20 minutes while loosely tented with foil.

Most people prefer rare prime rib. If you target rare, the prime rib roast will be rare in the center and the ends will always be more well done, so you should have a variety for your guests.

Recipe Tip

Allow the roast to sit at room temperature for at least an hour prior to cooking. If the prime rib is taken directly from the refrigerator to the oven, the ends will be cooked much more than the center.

How to Cook Prime Rib in the Oven

Full instructions with ingredient quantities are located in the recipe card below, but here is a summary.

Step 1:Prepare the roast

Prior to cooking, set the roast out for at least an hour to allow the internal temperature to rise a bit. This will promote more even cooking.

Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan with the fat side facing up. If using a bone-in roast, place the bones underneath the roast. Pour the beef broth and and some of the red wine to the pan.

Perfect Prime Rib Roast Recipe & Cooking Tips (4)
Perfect Prime Rib Roast Recipe & Cooking Tips (5)

Meanwhile, mix together a mixture of olive oil, fresh garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Perfect Prime Rib Roast Recipe & Cooking Tips (6)

Spread the herb mixture over the top of the roast. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of the roast.

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Step 2:Roast in oven

Cook the prime rib in a preheated 450°F oven for about 20 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and, without opening the oven door, continue cooking until the desired internal temperature is met and remove the pan from the oven.

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Remove the roast from the rack and transfer it to a large plate or cutting board. Loosely tent the roast with aluminum foil to keep it warm while it rests.

Step 3:Reduce the wine sauce

Finally, you’ll add more wine to the drippings in the pan and reduce the sauce over heat to serve alongside the roast.

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Side Dish Recommendations

I always make horseradish sauce to accompany prime rib. If you’d like an alternative to the wine sauce, you can make a homemade au jus.

  • Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, or Gorgonzola Celery Root Mashed Potatoes for your starch.
  • Wilted Garlic Spinach, Garlic Parmesan Oven Roasted Asparagus, or Roasted Green Beans as a dark green vegetable.
  • Homemade Dinner Rolls or Cornmeal Yeast Rolls with butter are also heavenly!
Perfect Prime Rib Roast Recipe & Cooking Tips (10)


How do I choose a good prime rib roast?

Look for well-marbled meat with a thick layer of fat on top for added flavor and juiciness. Choose a roast with a bright red color.

What is the best way to carve a prime rib roast?

Slicing the roast is easiest with an electric serrated edge knife.

What kind of wine is best?

Any kind of dry red wine will work. May people choose a red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot for a rich and complementary flavor. I will typically use a Pinot Noir.

Can I prepare the herb crust in advance?

Yes, both can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.

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Perfect Prime Rib Roast

Prep20 minutes mins

Cook2 hours hrs

Resting time20 minutes mins

Total2 hours hrs 20 minutes mins

Servings 6 servings

Author Krissy Allori

Perfect Prime Rib Roast Recipe & Cooking Tips (11)



Indulge in culinary perfection with our oven-roasted prime rib, adorned in a tantalizing fresh herb crust and paired with a luscious wine sauce.

Save Recipe



  • 5 pound beef prime rib roast I prefer bone-in where the bones are cut and then tied to the roast, weight can vary, increase herb crust ingredients if size of roast doubles but not wine and broth

Wine sauce:

  • 750 mL red wine one bottle, divided
  • 2 cups beef broth Might need more, see note below

Herb crust:


  • For best results and even cooking, set roast out at room temperature for at least an hour prior to cooking. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 450°F and ensure top rack is low enough such that the roasting pan will be in the middle of the oven.

  • Prepare roast: Using a roasting pan with a rack, add 2 cups of wine (reserving the rest for later) and the beef broth to the base of the pan. Set the roast in the rack with the fat side up. Insert meat thermometer into center of roast, avoiding contact with the bones.

  • Add herbs: In a separate bowl, mix olive oil, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper and spread this mixture on top of the roast.

  • Roast in oven: Place roasting pan in hot 450°F oven for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 115 to 120°F for medium rare (125 to 130°F after resting), or 125 to 130°F for medium (135 to 140°F after resting). And remember, a roast will continue to rise by 5 to 10°F as it rests. Total cooking time will depend on size of roast and initial temperature. NOTE: Keep an eye on the liquid in the roasting pan as the roast is cooking. If it appears that the liquid is evaporating, add additional beef broth. If all the liquid evaporates, the contents on the bottom of the pan will burn.

  • Rest: Once removed from oven, transfer roast to plate or cutting board, loosely tent with foil, and allow to rest for at least 15-20 minutes. Leave the thermometer inside the roast so you can monitor the temperature.

  • Make red wine sauce: While the roast is resting, Transfer any liquid and drippings from the roasting pan to a saucepan. Add remaining wine, heat until the mixture starts to bubble around the edges, then reduce heat as low as you can to maintain a gentle simmer. When the roast has finished resting, skim off any fat from the wine sauce and serve warm sauce alongside the roast. You may strain this sauce before serving, if desired.

  • Serve: Slice prime rib roast and serve with red wine sauce on the side.


Serving size is based on dividing a 5 pound roast between 6 people with all of the red wine sauce. Due to the fact that there is a lot of fat that may not be consumed, the nutritional approximation may not be very accurate.

Cooking tips for perfect results:

  • Allow meat to sit at room temperature for at least an hour prior to cooking.
  • Keep a close eye on the internal temperature as it approaches your desired temperature. The rate at which the temperature increases will accelerate the closer the roast is to being cooked.
  • Any kind of dry red wine will work. I will typically use a Pinot Noir.
  • Be sure to let it properly rest if you want a perfectly cooked, tender, juicy roast.
  • A 4-5 pound roast should take approximately two hours to cook. There are many factors impacting total cook time including the size and starting temperature of the roast, the accuracy of your oven temperature, and how consistently your oven cooks.
  • Slicing the roast is easiest with an electric knife.
  • NOTE: Keep an eye on the liquid in the roasting pan as the roast is cooking. If it appears that the liquid is evaporating, add additional beef broth. If all the liquid evaporates, the contents on the bottom of the pan will burn.


Calories: 1289kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 53g, Fat: 105g, Saturated Fat: 43g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 47g, Cholesterol: 229mg, Sodium: 1635mg, Potassium: 1069mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 133IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 61mg, Iron: 7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me acomment below

This post was originally published in November 2016 and has been updated with process photos, helpful information, and cooking tips. Don’t worry – I didn’t change the recipe!

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Perfect Prime Rib Roast Recipe & Cooking Tips (2024)


What is the most important thing to do before roasting a prime rib roast? ›

A roast is a large cut of meat: it needs more seasoning than you might expect. Season it generously with kosher salt the day before roasting it and let it sit in the fridge uncovered overnight. When you take it out of the fridge before roasting, add pepper and any additional herbs.

What is the best temperature to cook a prime rib roast? ›

Cook Time and Temperature:

Start by cooking your prime rib at 500°F for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 325° F and cook for 10-12 min per pound for rare, or 13-14 min per pound for medium rare, or 14-15 min per pound for medium well.

How do restaurants make prime rib so tender? ›

How do restaurants make prime rib so tender? The secret to restaurant-style prime rib is cooking the meat super slow at low temperatures. I recommend cooking prime rib at no higher than 200 degrees F. This cooks the meat very slowly, turning the fat into butter and rendering the proteins juicy and soft.

Do you cook prime rib covered or uncovered? ›

Do you cover prime rib roast when cooking? You can cover rib roast when cooking after searing it to help it retain some of its moisture, but it's not necessary. For the best results, leave the roast uncovered until you remove it from the oven or grill and place it at room temperature for resting.

Should you salt prime rib the night before? ›

Salt the Prime Rib Overnight

First and foremost, overnight salting is the most important step for prime rib. Others may try to fool you into thinking it's the resting stage, which is up there for sure, but it's not number 1. Rub a good quality kosher salt all over the meat the day before you want to cook it.

Should I season a prime rib roast? ›

So by all means, salt and pepper generously, but you only need enough on the surface to season every bite, including the non-edge sections. Just don't lose sleep about it. The most logical time to season your prime rib is at some point during the 3 hours you have it sitting on your counter coming to room temperature.

Is it better to cook prime rib at 325 or 350? ›

Cooking prime rib per pound can vary based on different factors such as desired doneness, oven temperature, and the specific cut of meat. As a general guideline: - For rare: Cook at 325°F (163°C) for about 15-20 minutes per pound.

How long do you leave prime rib out before cooking? ›

Preparing the Prime Rib Roast

Pull the rib roast out of the fridge and let temper on the counter for three hours. USDA guidelines requires food not be held above 33°F (1°C) for more than 4 hours. A three-hour rest on the counter is well within time constraints.

Is prime rib better cooked slow or fast? ›

A low and slow start delivers perfectly evenly cooked medium-rare doneness all the way from edge to center. Blasting the prime rib with heat just before serving gives you a crackling-crisp, browned crust.

What's the difference between a rib roast and a prime rib? ›

Commonly found at steakhouses, rib roasts and prime rib are two of the most luxurious and expensive cuts of beef. Both rib roast and prime rib come from the ribs of the cow, but one difference is that the whole rack of ribs makes up a standing rib roast, while only the ribs near the loin are cut and sold as prime rib.

How long to cook a 8 lb prime rib at 325? ›

Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Roast in the oven until the thermometer registers 115°F for rare or 120° for medium rare, and 130°F for medium. To estimate the total cooking time, allow about 11 to 12 minutes per pound for rare and 13 to 15 minutes per pound for medium rare.

Why is my prime rib always tough? ›

Prime rib is at its best cooked rare or medium rare — it should not be cooked past medium (140°F) or all the fat will melt out of the meat, leaving it tough, dry, and chewy. After the prime rib is cooked, make sure to let it rest for 30 minutes for the meat to reabsorb all the delicious juices before carving.

How much prime rib to feed 6 adults? ›

ServingsBone-In RoastBoned & Tied Roast
5–6 adults6 lb. (3 bones)6 lb. (3 bones)
6–7 adults7 lb. (3-4 bones)7 lb. (3-4 bones)
8–10 adults10 lb. (5 bones)10 lb. (5 bones)
10–12 adults14 lb. (7 bones)14 lb. (7 bones)
2 more rows

Is prime rib more tender than filet mignon? ›

When choosing between prime rib or filet mignon, consider what you like in a steak. Filet mignon has the most tender texture of, perhaps, any steak cut but not as much flavor as prime rib. Prime rib is an excellent option for grilling and is full of flavor, but it may not be the best option for highly delicate dishes.

What gives prime rib its flavor? ›

Marbling is the streaks of intramuscular fat that run through the meat. The more marbled your meat, the juicier, more flavorful, and tender it'll be. Buying "Prime" graded beef is a good guarantee of this fat content, though it's possible to find ungraded beef with plenty of marbling as well.

How many hours does it take to cook a prime rib? ›

Place the seasoned rib roast on a greased roasting rack in a roasting tray. Cook for 4 to 5 hours or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the roast is 125-130°F for medium-rare prime rib, or 135-140°F for medium. Take out the roast and tent it with foil.

What is the rule for prime rib? ›

A good rule of thumb for purchasing bone-in prime rib is to buy one pound per person. A bone-in standing rib roast will feed about two people per bone. But if the roast is part of a bigger spread with plenty of other food, you can plan on 1/2 to 3/4 pound of prime rib per person.

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